16 April 2008
5th Annual Meeting of the Working Group
established under article 13.1 of the Financial and Administrative Framework Agreement (FAFA)
between the European Communities and the United Nations
on 29 April 2003
Vienna, 10-11 April 2008
VIENNA, 16 April (UN Information Service) - The implementation of the FAFA (Financial and Administrative Framework Agreement), signed in 2003 between the United Nations and the European Commission, is reviewed every year. The 5th annual review took place this year in Vienna on 10-11 April 2008.
Since the signature of the FAFA, EC-UN cooperation has increased significantly - in 2007 agreements to the value of almost € 1.2 billion have been signed. The FAFA continues to play its part in cutting red tape to a minimum and providing a solid yet simple financial and contractual environment conducive to cooperation.
This practical cooperation is of course backed up by strong policy dialogue, whether through the strategic partnership mechanism or other ad hoc arrangements. The UN and the EC share common aims and ideals - both organisations are committed to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and addressing (post) crisis situations in the most effective way. The European Union has reaffirmed this commitment in the European Consensus. The Commission is particularly appreciative of the strengths of the UN, with its specific expertise in many areas, its operational field presence and capacity and its normative role. The UN greatly values its deepening partnership with the Commission and is committed to its continued success.
The 5th annual review of the FAFA was attended by a representative selection of 16 UN agencies and the UN Secretariat, led by the UN Controller, Warren Sach. The European Commission Delegation was led by Koos Richelle, Director General of EuropeAid Co-operation Office. It has produced the following results:
- Joint Visibility Guidelines for EC-UN Actions in the Field have been adopted and enter into force with immediate effect. The UN and the EC are committed to implementing these guidelines and hope that this will enhance communication and visibility on the EC-UN partnership and the actions they undertake together.
- A mechanism to facilitate identification and resolution of implementation issues has been agreed and a first discussion of the Joint Reference Group that will address these issues will take place by the end of May.
- Agreement was also reached on a process and timetable which should lead to the adoption of terms of reference for verifications by 1/7/2008.
- Discussions will also be pursued to ensure that information on the beneficiaries of EU financing can be provided in line with the wishes of European Parliament and the requirements of EC Financial Regulations.
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For further information, contact:
Financial Management Officer
Office of the Controller, OPPBA
United Nations Secretariat
Tel: +1-212 963-0788